Recently, I got to virtually sit down with Ramoms and pick their brains. Who you ask? Ramoms is an all mom, totally rad, Ramones tribute band from Pennsylvania. Jodi, Cori, Ginger, and Sharon share with us how they balance parental and adult duties while still rocking out. I have a major girl crush on one of them after finding out we both dig The Surfrajettes. If you’re out that way, you should check out their Philadelphia debut on July 22nd at Century Bar. Members from our local chapter will be in attendance.
When were the Ramoms founded?
Jodi: I guess it was kind of my idea. I always changed the lyrics to punk songs in my car so that my kids would enjoy them when they were little. After a couple glasses of wine with my husband about a year ago I said I want to make a children’s album singing Ramones songs. And the Ramoms were born!
Ginger: I had known Jodi for a while and she realized that I played drums and asked me at a BBQ if I wanted to join a band with her that played
Ramones songs. At the same BBQ she introduced me to Cori and said she is going to play bass. We just needed to find someone to play guitar.
Sharon: I was the last to join. She asked me, at a different BBQ, if I wanted to play Ramones songs with some cool peeps. Of course, I said yes!
How did you all connect?
Cori: Jodi Ramom was the brainchild and connected us all – I’ve known Jodi since I was 16. We knew each other from the music scene in New Brunswick, NJ. She was/is friends with my sister. She knew Ginger and Sharon. We all clicked right away and just have so much fun. We don’t over think we just play music.
What inspired you to cover Ramones songs?
J: Always been one of my favorite bands. They’re perfect in every way short, simple, fun, and poignant. As the oldest Ramom, 48 at the end of July, I’m lucky enough to have seen Ramones numerous times. I lived in New York City, working on St. Mark’s Pl. when the Ramones would walk down the street. They were always my rock and roll heroes.
G: The original concept of the band was to re-write the lyrics to appeal to children and parents so we could play some family-friendly festivals, birthday parties, or whatever. When we got together to rehearse we decided we should just learn the Ramones songs first then change the lyrics later, which is still our future plan.
C: Singing alternate lyrics when kids were present- The Ramones were the best for this.
S: The thought of playing with women my age that were still excited to play music is amazing! And the fact that Jodi had such a great idea of making it kid friendly was even better!
Who is your favorite Ramone (or song) and why?
J: My favorite Ramones song would probably be either “Outsider” or “Havana Affair”. It’s a tie.
G: Everyone likes Joey right? I cannot really say I have a favorite Ramone, but I did get to meet Marky Ramone at the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market earlier this year. I told him about our band and he giggled. I am not sure if he was laughing at us or with us, either way I was excited to take a photo with him. My favorite Ramones song is most likely “The KKK Took My Baby Away” I use to play it in the garage with my brother when we were in high school.
S: “Suzy is a Headbanger” I like to pretend he is singing Sharon. Haha! I really like playing “Havana Affair”. It’s sort of sinister compared to the hits.
C: “Havana Affair” because it’s so fun to play. It’s dark and bluesy. I lived in NYC in the 90s and worked at Ben and Jerry’s on 3rd Ave and 10th street. I waited on Joey Ramone, he came in and ordered tea, I didn’t even know we served tea! The Ramones were so accessible, but funny enough, I didn’t really become a fan until recently. Now I really appreciate what they did.
What were you doing before this?
J: Let’s see, I am a stay at home mom during the day and I bartend at night. I also was in bands when I lived in New York City used to play CBGB and the continental.
C: I am a corporate recruiter currently, I did music publicity prior. Musically I haven’t played in a band since I was in Johnny X and the Conspiracy.
G: I have always been a Ramom in my book! Well before this, and currently, I run a small band merch business out of my house where I make buttons, pins, and patches called Evol Soul Co. I also play drums for The Droogettes.
S: Working like a jerk. Musically though, I play in an original band called Lyons. We are from Asbury Park.
What do you do when you’re not rocking?
J: When I have downtime, which I have very little of, I enjoy hanging out with my children and my husband and my dogs and I also still enjoy going to a show in seeing live music as much as possible.
C: Hanging with my son, 2 dogs and cat. I do the suburban sports mom thing. I even row on the Schuylkill River with a bunch of mom friends from my lil suburban Philadelphia town.
G: Recently I have been rocking 24/7 it seems. I have 2 bands that I play in that rehearse once a week each and one band seems to have a show every other weekend and sometimes 2 shows a week.
S: Hang out with my puppies!
How do you get the most out of your day?
J: Getting the most out of my day is a daily chore. I still have young kids and they’re very demanding so time is of the essence. Schedules, schedules, schedules.
G: I like to wake up around 7 AM and drink a whole pot of coffee or at least try to. I try to get all my work emails, button jobs, and patch orders worked on before noon. I have the rest of my day to run errands, watch tv, hang out with my 2 amazing dogs, Sawyer and Dexter Doodlebug.
C: I am really busy, working full-time, being a mom, and playing music. I like it though, wouldn’t have it any other way.
S: Try to do 90 things at once and be not that late for all of them.
How many kids do you have and what do they think about you being in a punk band?
J: I have three boys. They are 10, eight and five years old. They love the fact that their mom plays in a band but they also have a father who plays in bands as well so we playing music was not anything crazy to them.
C: I have a ten-year-old son he grew up on punk rock but now is a today’s hit kid- such is life. He plays bass too!
G: I have one kid… he is now 22 years old… so he is not much of a kid anymore and I do not think he cares that I even play in a band. He use to be really into bands and concerts but seems to have lost interest after high school. I bought him a guitar when he was 14 and he really never got into it. He has flown the nest and lives about a mile away and I am lucky if he calls me once a week.
S: I technically have only fur babies. We have two couch manatees and are in the process of fostering a few more.
What’s your current music favs?
J: I still love all the old bands that I used to love. I’m lucky enough to see them come around again and when they do they bring some new bands with them. When I actually can listen to music that I want and that will my kids want to listen to, it’s usually just some old Jesus and Mary Chain or maybe Cock Sparrer sometimes I even throw in some Buddy Holly.
G: I am obsessed with Bad Cop / Bad Cop right now… they are super catchy, fun and have the best harmonizing vocals.
S: Anything from John Reis, Depeche Mode and The Cure always. Current rotation includes Hot Snakes, Radioactivity, Choir Boy and Soft Kill. Oh, and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
C: The Surfraettes, a Psychedelic instro surf rock band from Toronto, ON. I have always liked the surf garage rock sound, it’s been around forever and always evolving.
What’s the weirdest compliment you’ve ever received?
J: Weirdest compliment? People think I look much younger in person.
C: That we are more attractive than the band we tribute.
G: I cannot think of a weird compliment off the top of my head but when punknews.org posted about us I was so excited about all the positive feedback we were getting. It was however weird to read some of the negative ones, I think someone had reposted it on their page and one of their friends said we should be at home taking care of our kids! Which made me think, ” why can’t moms have a night out to themselves?” Sometimes you can lose the identity of who you were before the kids if you do not take some time to do something positive for yourself.
S: Hmmm, “you sound better live than on the record.” That was in Germany, they are very to the point over there.
What does the future hold for you?
G: There is a rumor that we are doing a split 7 inch that will be released around Xmas time, but it is all in the words and we need to actually get in the studio to record some tracks. Until then we are going to continue to practice and learn more songs, maybe write a couple of our own songs, or try to get on some traveling kids concert and play the songs with the re-written lyrics! My other band, The Droogettes, leaves in August to play Rebellion Fest in Blackpool, England. Our first full-length LP is being released July 20th.
S: Music! Just started a new band, Death Doula! Lyons is putting out a full-length record next year and playing some shows. Ramoms is recording, and playing a shit ton of shows!
J: Hopefully the future holds a lot of shows with my best girlfriends. Fingers crossed there’s not a lot of nights scrambling for a babysitter.
C: Hopefully all good things, right? Lots of Ramoms shows and available sitters.
All Ramom images by Ehrin Petty Images